Review by Michael Jacobson
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Selena Gomez
Director: Courtney Solomon
Audio: DTS HD 5.1
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 2.4:1
Studio: Warner Bros.
Features: 5 Behind-the-Scenes
Length: 90 Minutes
Release Date: November 26, 2013
“I really, REALLY hate you.”
“I can understand that.”
Getaway is nothing you haven’t seen before. An ex-racer named Brent Magna (Hawke) has his wife kidnapped by an unknown enemy (known only as the voice). He is instructed to take a souped-up race car and perform a series of “tasks” on pain of keeping his wife alive.
Along the way, he picks up an unwelcome passenger known only as The Kid (Gomez), who tries to take the car at gunpoint, but has no idea of the insanity of the situation she has gotten herself into.
That’s pretty much it. There are car chases galore, mostly cut up in choppy MTV styled editing that makes it almost impossible to keep your bearings and reduces the action scenes to short, quick crescendos. Of course, between the two, The Kid turns out to be the smart one, trying to figure out the scheme of The Voice, while Brent merely does what he is told and is only focused on his wife.
It’s clichéd and unoriginal, but thankfully short enough not to wear out its welcome. The whole thing plays out like Drive meets Twelve Rounds or Die Hard With a Vengeance. There’s plenty of action, so if you’re looking for a fix of high speed adrenaline, this will serve the purpose. For me, I started getting tired of one “lose the cops” sequence after another.
There is really only one scene worth singling out: a car chase from the point of view of the chasing windshield. It’s the one shot that is allowed to go on and on without a cut, and is terrifically filmed and choreographed with near-misses that makes it the most suspenseful and exciting stretch of the movie.
Beyond that, Ethan Hawke is passable (but no Ryan Gosling). Selena Gomez remains one of the most beautiful young stars out there, but I’m still waiting to see if she can break beyond her looks and deliver the kind of performance that can help carry a movie; even one as lackluster as this. I still have faith.
There are films designed to shake you out of your comfort zone and some that don’t want to disturb you at all. This is definitely the latter…the more your brain is on cruise control, the more you’re liable to enjoy it.
BONUS TRIVIA: The revelation of who actually plays “The Voice” at the end was a real treat. Avoid spoilers if possible.
The constant action serves the high definition format. Most of the movie takes place at night, so the colors and details are really striking against the dark backgrounds. I noticed no artifacting or loss of clarity no matter what was happening on screen (apart from maybe two aerial shots that looked a little stock).
Say what you will, but this disc delivers one of the year’s best audio tracks. It’s relentless, dynamic, and razor-clear from top to bottom. The rear channels and the subwoofer rarely take a break. Dialogue is well-rendered against the explosiveness of the action.
There are five, very short behind-the-scenes extras, possibly less than ½ hour in total running time.
It’s not déjà vu, it’s Getaway, a competent racing thriller with no new ideas. However, it’s a quality Blu-ray offering from Warner, and could be worth a test drive as long as your standards aren’t too high.